Bonny Wolf recommends Sunday Suppers at Lucques in her annual roundup of summer cookbook choices: It's "a beautiful cookbook for when you want to spend more time cooking. Directions are easy to follow, but these are not quick meals and include some hard-to-find ingredients."
Get more cookbook picks from food writer Bonny Wolf.
Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
2 1/2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes
3 Persian cucumbers, or 1 hothouse cucumber
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and cut in half
4 sprigs cilantro, plus 12 cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons diced red or orange sweet pepper
3 tablespoons diced red onion
18 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Super-good extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the yellow tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water a few minutes, and then use your ﬁngers to slip off their skins. Remove the cores, and chop the tomatoes coarsely, saving all the juice. Reserve the ice water.
Seed and dice three tablespoons’ worth of unpeeled cucumber, as prettily as you can manage, for the garnish. Set aside. Peel and coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers.
You will need to make the soup in batches. Place half the yellow tomatoes, coarsely chopped cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil in a blender with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and some pepper. Process at the lowest speed until broken down. Turn the speed up to high, and purée until the soup is completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little of the reserved ice water. Strain the soup and taste for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the soup ingredients. Chill the soup in the refrigerator; it should be served very cold.
Toss the diced pepper, diced onion, and diced cucumber together in a small bowl.
Pour the gazpacho into six chilled soup bowls, and scatter the pepper mixture over the soup. Season the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper and place three cherry tomato halves and two cilantro leaves at the center of each bowl. Finish each soup with a drizzle of super-good olive oil. To serve family-style, place the soup in a chilled tureen or pretty pitcher and garnish with the tomato halves and cilantro; pass the diced vegetables on the side.
Grilled Halibut à la niçoise with Haricots Verts, Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Anchovy Butter
6 halibut ﬁllets, 5 to 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 cup sliced ﬂat-leaf parsley
3/4 pound tiny ﬁngerlings or other small potatoes
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 pound haricots verts, stems removed, tails left on
3 extra-large eggs
6 ounces baby spinach, cleaned and dried
1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced anchovy
1 cup small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons sliced basil, green and opal if possible
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the halibut with the zest of one lemon, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and cook 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re tender when pierced. (Depending on their size, age, and variety, the cooking time will vary.)
Light the grill 30 to 40 minutes ahead of time. Take the halibut out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking it, so it comes to room temperature.
Blanch the haricots verts in heavily salted water 2 to 3 minutes, until they’re tender but still al dente. Remove to a baking sheet or platter to cool. Bring the water back to a boil, and carefully lower the eggs into the water. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer, and cook the eggs exactly 9 minutes. Remove the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Peel the eggs, and cut them in half. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the spinach and olives in a large salad bowl.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, and add the sliced shallots and remaining tablespoon thyme to the pan. Cook 1 minute, until the shallots are just wilted. Add the haricots verts and the potatoes, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper.
When the vegetables are hot, toss them into the bowl of spinach and olives. Season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Toss well to dress the spinach and wilt it slightly. Taste for seasoning. Arrange the salad on a large platter. Tuck the eggs among the spinach leaves.
Meanwhile, when the coals are broken down, red, and glowing, brush the halibut with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the ﬁsh on the grill, and cook 2 minutes. Give the ﬁsh a quarter-turn, and cook a minute or two more. Turn over, and cook until it’s just barely cooked through; peek inside to check for doneness. When it’s done, the halibut will begin to ﬂake and separate a little, and the center will still be slightly translucent. Remember, the ﬁsh will continue to cook a little more once you take it off the grill. Arrange the ﬁsh on top of the salad.
Return the vegetable pan to the stove, and heat over medium-high. Add the butter, and cook a few minutes, until it starts to brown and smells nutty. Add the anchovy, cherry tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, shaking the pan often, until the tomatoes release some of their juice. Squeeze some lemon juice into the butter, and taste for balance and seasoning. Stir in the basil and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Spoon the sauce over the ﬁsh and around the salad.
Excerpted from Sunday Supper at Lucques by Suzanne Goin. Copyright © 2006, Suzanne Goin. Reprinted by permission of Knopf Publishing, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.